835.24/5–3145: Airgram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina (Braden)

A–440. The British Embassy presented the Department with the following Aide-Mémoire on June 2:

“His Majesty’s Government desire to discuss with the United States Government the position of Argentina in relation to the requirements of the United Nations for Argentine supplies.

  • “2. Now that Argentina has become associated with the United Nations and has acquired the status of an Ally,66 His Majesty’s Government feel that she may reasonably be asked to make the maximum contribution to meet (a) the requirements of countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America which are actively prosecuting the war against Japan and (b) the rehabilitation needs of the liberated countries.
  • “3. At the present moment the attitude of Argentina in this respect is causing serious concern to His Majesty’s Government. Upon the re-establishment by the United States and the United Kingdom of normal relations with Argentina, His Majesty’s Government, with the agreement of the United States Government, resumed negotiations for the supply during the current year of the meat necessary in order to maintain the low United Kingdom ration.67 These negotiations have made no progress as no reply has been received from the Argentine Government to the approach made by His Majesty’s Government on April 12th last.
  • “4. The threatened intervention of the French and Belgian Governments may serve to encourage the Argentine Government to refrain from coming to an agreement which would provide the maximum quantity of meat at reasonable prices for equitable distribution among the United Nations. Special representatives of His Majesty’s Government are now proceeding to Buenos Aires in the hope that direct contact with the Argentine authorities may expedite the meat negotiations.
  • “5. There are, moreover, other commodities, such as corn, hides, oils, fats and dairy produce which are urgently required by the countries of Europe. It is in the interest of the common war effort of the United States and United Kingdom Governments, and of the United Nations as a whole, that these commodities should be made available [Page 539] for export from Argentina in maximum quantities and on reasonable terms.
  • “6. His Majesty’s Government therefore suggest that it would now be opportune to approach the Argentine Government and to impress upon them the responsibilities which their new status of an Ally imposes upon them. His Majesty’s Government enquire whether the United States Government would be prepared to make concerted representations to the Argentine Government on this basis, and, in particular, to urge them:—
    as a fully cooperating Ally, to make available the maximum supplies, on reasonable terms, of meat and the products referred to in paragraph 5 above, needed, under the system of international allocation now in operation, for the rehabilitation of European economy.
    to afford the maximum assistance in solving the problem of supplies to ex-enemy territories outside the scope of UNRRA.68
    to make an adequate contribution to UNRRA itself.
  • “7. His Majesty’s Government are convinced that the best prospect of securing Argentine cooperation in solving these vital problems lies in firm and concerted representations by the two Governments in Buenos Aires.”

After full discussion, it was agreed that the suggestion contained in the Aide-Mémoire is an appropriate one and that we would take such action as you may regard appropriate, either independently or jointly, after you have discussed the matter with the British Ambassador.69 Care should be exercised, however, to treat this purely as a supply matter. In making representations, political questions concerning status of Argentina as one of the United Nations should be excluded. It is probably desirable that formal representation be made to the Argentine Government.

In the light of this position the Department is inclined to feel that present procedural arrangements relating to Argentine exports are adequate to give you the control needed as the situation may require from time to time. (Refer your 1111 of May 31.) … exports from this country to the Argentine after July 1 will be limited to those for which you have approved Certificates of Necessity … For the remainder of the second quarter export licenses will continue to be issued against properly validated Certificates of Necessity, regardless of the date of issuance. We have not felt it necessary to have the FEA continue the slowdown instituted as an interim measure pending the formulation of this procedure.

In our discussions with you, it was the view of the Department that continued controls should be exercised by you over consignees and end-use of shipments, but it was not necessarily implied that the total amount of exports would be limited in the aggregate. We [Page 540] are inclined to feel that this is about the way the situation would work out if the criteria listed hi your 1111 of May 31 are applied.

  1. For information regarding nature of the steps taken by Argentina in this direction, see circular telegram of April 4, to diplomatic representatives in the American Republics, p. 374.
  2. For documentation relating to meat necessities of the British, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, pp. 288 ff.
  3. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.
  4. Sir David Kelly.